>> your watching the "journal" on dw >> greater than the pope wraps up his visit to cuba with a meeting with fidel castro. >> the violence continues in syria despite a promise by the president to stick to and i international peace plan. force to reverse a coup by mutinous soldiers. -- mali's neighbors. >> pope benedict xvi is wrapping up his visit to cuba during which he has called on people living there to search for a genuine creed. >> within the last hour, the
pope has been meeting with fidel castro. even spoke for about half an hour. it was their first encounter, the the cuban revolutionary icon met twice with benedict's predecessor. >> in havana earlier, benedict of for catholic classes in school. the vatican says 300,000 people came together to hear the message. >> the papal mass in havana's revolutionary square. thousands gathered for the highlight and final stop of pope benedict's three-day tour. the pontiff used the occasion for a clear political message, calling for religious freedom and a stronger role for the catholic church. >> religious freedom of the individual and of society shows that people can be both christians and good citizens.
it gives the faithful the right and the ability to make a positive contribution to society. and the relations between the church and communist cuba have improved since the last people visit 14 years ago. pope benedict urged cuba's leaders to build on what has been achieved. among those attending the mass where president ronald castro and high-ranking members of his regime. their presence is seen as a goodwill gesture, but the cuban government has reacted warily to the pope's cause for greater freedoms. earlier, a leading official said cuba's political system would not change. analyst pick up on that. i'm joined in the studio by our religious affairs correspondent. john, was it the goal of the pope's visit to set a change in motion? >> i do not think so. i think the change is already in
motion. raul castro is no democrat, but he is more pragmatic than his older brother and he realizes that the current system cannot be maintained. he has already reduced government employees by 1 million. he started to privatize the agricultural sector, and estimates are that about 1/3 of the cuban population will be employed in the private sector within the next three years. cuba is really hurtling towards a free-market economy. the pope's goal is to try to help it make a soft landing. >> the economic reality is one thing. the political reality in cuba is another. there are still lots of political dissidents in the country. what is interesting about this visit -- the pope is not meeting with dissidents such as the ladies in white. what is your reading? >> you are right in saying that the forms are economic rather than political. the pope is really saying in terms of the soft landing i was talking about, they need to be accompanied by also political
reforms -- human rights and freedoms. but at the same time, while encouraging the castro regime to reform, to go along the path it has already started on, he is being cautious not to provoke the stalinist within the regime, which could cause the regime to stifle the reform process. part of that i think is the reason why he does not want to meet with dissidents directly. but it is a gamble and a strategy that may backfire. >> but he did meet with fidel castro, a very old man, a sick man. is there any political significance to the meeting? >> not directly. castro has no political power and more in cuba, but he is a kind of icon of the revolution, and i think the pictures that we have seen also and, indeed, that the people of cuba will have seen of this reconciliation -- there is a very friendly by between the tip of the woman. -- very friendly vibe.
that is something that speaks for itself and invites a reconciliation between the church and the regime. >> as always, thank you very much for your insights. >> syrian activists said government soldiers are continuing their attacks on rebel strongholds. clashes have been reported in homs. >> this comes a day after the syrian government accepted a peace plan proposed by the special envoy, kofi annan. the arab league has joined international calls on president assad to put the plan into action. >> arab league foreign ministers have begun discussing syria's future, ahead of the full summit in baghdad. leaders are expected to endorse the peace plan, drawn up by envoy kofi annan. syria has accepted it but ministers act -- insist it is not enough. >> all the parties confirm that the implementation of the plan is more important than the
acceptance. this is the last chance for syria, and it must be implemented on the ground. >> but syria is absent, suspended from the body. it has already rejected any arab league initiative from the meeting. meanwhile, syrian president assad has been issued a blunt warning by the united nations human rights chief. he said he was directly responsible for syria goes to human rights abuses, enough to warrant prosecution by the international criminal court. >> assad could simply issue an order to stop the killings, and the killings would stop. we also find that full sections of the security and military intelligence all report directly to him, so this is the kind of thing back judges hearing cases on crimes against humanity will be looking at. >> despite the peace plan, there are no signs of the violence
letting up. fighting has increased along the border with lebanon, as well as other syrian cities. >> the palestinian prime minister was in berlin on tuesday -- wednesday, i should say -- to meet with the german foreign minister. the topic of discussion -- millions of euros in aid. >> germany has promised upwards of 70 million euros this year to help palestinians and with their infrastructure. both leaders say would they want to ensure the world does not forget about the israeli- palestinian issue. >> in the shadow of the israeli security fence, palestinians are modernizing their infrastructure. the german palestinian steering committee helps fund this water treatment plant in gaza as well as police stations, hospitals, and schools in the west bank. germany has earmarked 74 million euros for these and similar projects this year as part of what it sees as a larger
process. >> our goal as a palestinian state as the outcome of a negotiated two-state solution. we are supporting the building of a palestinian state, not just theoretically, but with practical measures as well. the evidence is that israel's security is a priority, but palestinian and minister says the international community should pay closer attention to israel's behavior. >> secular violence is something that warrants a lot more attention than it has been getting. stoppage of the israeli military in our areas is something that warrants a lot more attention than it has been getting. >> germany and palestinians have been expressing concerns of developments in iran. they say attention is shifting away from the israeli- palestinian peace process, making a peaceful solution even
more difficult. >> it seized power last week in a coup. >> the u.s. and eu have suspended aid to the country. a regional grouping of african states is also demanding a return to civilian rule. >> west african states say they want mali returned to democratic rule. their representative body has suspended the vision and announced that it has been -- has put regional troops on standby should military intervention be necessary. that dialogue and consultation will be our primary instruments in the search for a solution. but we shall not hesitate to use any other option as dictated by circumstances. >> the west african bloc will send a delegation of five presidents to mali with in
coming days in order to restore constitutional order. outside the meeting, malians and ivory coast demonstrated against the coup. last week, soldiers seized power after overthrowing the government. they accused the president of mishandling a military campaign against a separatist insurgency movement in the north. coup leaders have suspended the constitution and imposed a nationwide curfew. the overthrow took observers by surprise. kantor has long been considered one of the few established democracies in western africa. >> emergency crews off the coast of scotland are battling to stop gas leaking into the north sea. it could take months to plug the leak. >> the rig has been evacuated, and the surrounding area closed off.
the ships and aircraft. this is the threat of explosions given the weather conditions, but experts disagree. >> concerns are growing about the players still burning on the rig. contact with the leaking gas could spark a huge explosion. but the platforms french operator insist there is no danger of a blast, saying the wind is blowing gas away from the flame. the platform workers have all been evacuated. the surrounding area has been blocked off to air and sea travel. total says it still trying to determine where the gas is coming from. >> we are still progressing the two main options -- going on to the platform with well-control specialists to kill the well, or churning a relief well. >> but plugging the leak could take six months. a 10-kilometer-long chain of gas condensate covers the surface of
water near the platform. experts warn the resulting gas mixture is highly toxic. with hydrogen sulfide. that is a water soluble poison that is highly potent in the water and can harm all human and aquatic life near the rig. >> that could have disastrous consequences for the north sea's ecosystem. there are several oil and gas- drilling platforms in the north sea. more than 400 between britain and norway. the company that begin production 11 years ago drills of both oil and gas. the water is more than 1,100 meters deep, but the gas reserves are located more than 5 kilometers under the sea. total is flying in experts to study the situation, including specialists consulted during the deep water rise and disaster in the gulf of mexico two years ago. >> now, your stock exchanges,
and traders have been closely following the evacuation of that rig. we macroeconomic data is weighing on investors' minds. but the german dax and your socks 50 lost more than 1% this wednesday. the dax sitting just below the 7000 mark, it has been making big gains this year. over the wall street where the dow jones also took a little guy. the bureau, though, holding steady at $1.3320. in other business news, the german business subsidiary of gm, opel, is launching another round of cuts to keep plants open. >> in a statement, the board set for them to be profitable, measures must be taken to increase revenues and reduce costs. no big surprise there. weak sales and overcapacity have led to speculation the car maker might be forced to shut down its main factory in western germany and shift operations to western europe where costs are lower. there's no end in sight in the pay dispute that has led thousands of public sector workers here in germany to
strike. >> talks between the government and trade workers produce nothing on thursday. more than 200,000 went on strike, demanding 6.5% more pay. this came a day after a traffic was disrupted when workers at airports across germany took industrial action as well. >> leaders of the top five to emerging economies are meeting in delhi for a summit. the bric states -- brazil, russia, india, china -- called for 40% of the world's population. >> the five leaders arrived in the indian capital wednesday. they're expected to launch plans for a joint development bank in the mold of the world bank. the new institution would promote infrastructure projects and could provide lending during financial crises. that of all right, we will be back in a minute with more news. >> do not go away.
competitive. >> give women the opportunity. worldbank.org/gender. >> iran promised to resume talks on its nuclear program on april 13 after a break of more than a year. >> turkey's prime minister met with iranian foreign minister in tehran. this is turkey would be willing to host talks between iran and the so-called p-5, the five members of the united nations security council, plus germany. he added that the growing threat government -- of military strikes against iran are not acceptable. >> all right. where are we headed right now with iran? let's talk about that with a foreign-policy expert who is well-connected with the conservatives in washington. thanks for coming in with us. what is your read here? why is tehran saying yes now
again to nuclear talks? >> it is the next chess move in this slower-moving cuban missile crisis. the reason is a string along the international community, build up the heretofore secret site near qom where they are moving toward in richmond. they are running out the clock. also, they might just get a better offer, so either way, they win. >> what can we expect from talks this time? last time, we did not even get an agenda. >> i think what they want to do is to buy the international community. the new sanctions are actually potent and could hurt the economy. estimate is 25% of oil revenue will be lost through this. if they can ship of countries like turkey, which are vital eight countries to them, and divide europe and the united states, all for a better keep talking offer to stay at the table and divide the coalition. not a bad strategy. >> what about the demands of tel aviv on washington? do you see washington giving israel what it wants? of course, we are talking about
bulger cluster technology here. >> the note of the crisis, as you say, is the difference between israel and the united states, not about iran. israelis say the deadline is a man having the capacity to have nuclear weapons. americans say it is them having nuclear weapons, and there's a canyon between those positions. a way to stop that is to give the israelis better bunker busters', that, there's more time for the sanctions to take effect. an understanding whereby obama would say, "we are going to be be the weapons we have, which work far better," gives us a year to see what happens with sanctions. somehow, is there -- americans and israelis have to be brought on to the same page, or september will be a very scary month. >> you say september is a make or break month. why? that two reasons -- one political and one technical. is really a bunker busters' probably could not do enough damage to do much, and it is the election when obama will be at his weakest. >> we will see if there is a
doomsday theory in you. we will see what happens when september comes along. as always, thanks for talking with us. the german government has agreed to ease immigration of high- skilled workers. >> it wants to lower the wage threshold for europeans and plans to issue short-term visas. >> it is so that the measures can help overcome shortfalls in the german labor market. >> the measures would make it easier for skilled foreign professionals to work in germany without bureaucratic hassles. for jobs with high vacancies such as engineers, an annual income of 35,000 euros would suffice for a residence permit. those seeking work can apply for short-term visas for six months. lawmakers say that it is in germany's interest to attract qualified immigrants. >> we need a welcoming attitude here in germany, and that means not making borders deal with complex bureaucracy when they
come here. that is why we need a quick and speedy process. >> german companies have long been demanding that the government ease immigration rules for highly skilled workers. berlin hopes the private sector will soon be luring the best talent with competitive salaries and contracts. >> officials from the united states, european union, and japan, are pledging to work closely together on ways to insure that secure supplies of strategically vital rare earth materials -- and other critical materials get through. china, which controls most of the world supply, a post export curbs in 2010. these are used in tvs and mobile phones. >> governments and business leaders are meeting to find ways to ease dependence on rare earth minerals. almost the whole world supply comes from china. the problem our resources cannot
be solved without dialogue with metal-rich nations. the sustained development of high-tech industries is impossible without the cooperation of resource-rich countries. >> rare earths are 17 different chemical elements that are especially important for industry, for example, because they can withstand strong heat. the high-tech industry is utterly dependent on rare earths. they are used in products including flat screen monitors, cell phones, and rechargeable batteries. china produces up to 97% of the world's supply, and now beijing has restricted exports. consumer states are looking at possibilities for recycling. conference participants hope they can bring other countries on board, too. >> let me also say that when we talk about this trilateral meeting, it seems as if this is an exclusive of there, and of course, it is not. >> in the shorter-term, countries will try to increase pressure on the chinese to increase exports again.
>> if you use the internet to go shopping, for a digital camera, say, and for days afterwards, you are always seeing ads for camera equipment while serving online. >> yes, that is because you leave a digital trail wherever you go on the net. companies are watching very closely. >> we are looking for the trail we have left behind in cyberspace, and we come across a digital security specialist. using special software, he shows who is following us on the internet. on the right, we quit from land to land, calling up new web sites. on the left, our online behavior is monitored by doubleclick, and online marketing firm owned by google. >> advertisers collect this information and use it to build a precise profile of individual web sites for their clients. that allows their clients to find out users' interests.
>> this program also shows us who has been tracking our online activity. a list of hundreds of marketing firms following our every move. their names pop up in the quarter. -- corner. with a click, tracking software can be blocked. the crossed-out names of companies trying to follow us means they have been stopped. >> e when we greater than e- commerce or the sale of services online, of course, i want to know my customer. i want to know what they are interested in so that i can optimize my offers. that each time you visit a site, bits of information called cookies are stored on your computer. this is the cookie code from retailer amazon. if you erasing your cookies regularly, you cannot be monitored. you can even adjust your settings to stop companies from
tracking you at all. >> activity on the internet does not go away. it is always there. what i did 10 years ago may still be there in 20 years providing you with a complete profile of my activity. >> that profile is always on- line. so, remember, whether you book a trip or by madison, somebody is probably watching -- or by a medicine, somebody is probably watching. >> in thailand, there has been a huge explosion at a fireworks factory. >> 20 fire trucks had to be sent to buy the blaze at the pacific pyro company. the explosion reportedly happened earlier in the morning when the workers were present. authorities say there are no casualties. >> polish authorities are gearing up for the euro 2012 football championship being held there and in the ukraine mid- year. >> in a northeastern province, a group of officers practiced overpowering of ligands on a bus.
the officers are learning intervention techniques that are safe for them and the general public. a run 1.5 million fans are expected to attend the tournament. >> i hope that is not what they do when you get on a plane. >> speaking of planes, this is not a situation you would like to be in during a flight. >> 140 passengers and crew got a scare as one of the pilots suddenly ran down the aisle -- about a bomb threat. >> some passengers managed to restrain him, and the co-pilot and an off-the pilot who was on board the plane made an emergency landing. >> a moment of terror on jet blew flight 191. passengers restrain the captain after his outbursts about a bomb on board and threats from al qaeda, iraq, and afghanistan. the plane was three hours into a flight from new york to las vegas. the co-pilot, noticing the erratic behavior of the captain,
locked him out of the cockpit during a total break and diverted the plane to amarillo in texas. realizing he could not get back in, the captain started screaming and tried to open the door. >> the commotion erupted, and we were running -- you know, the pilot ran down the aisle, and probably four or five of us ran after him. i got up and went to help, so a bunch of guys, we tackled the guy and held him down for probably 20 or 30 minutes until the plane landed. >> luckily, an off-duty captain was on board and help plan the airbus 8-320 safely in amarillo. the passengers were able to complete their journey to las vegas on a later flight. many were clearly shaken by their ordeal. >> my wife, my twin children. that is the only thing i could think of.
>> it hit me. we said, "this cannot happen. >> the captain has been taken to a hospital. the airline spoke only of a medical situation. airlines say the situations are rare, stressing that only a handful of known -- are known of in the last 30 years. >> all right, that wraps it up for this edition of the "journal." stay with us. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--